Author Topic: Admiral Graf Spee does not get scuttled/or is recovered.  (Read 2726 times)

Offline GTX_Admin

  • Evil Administrator bent on taking over the Universe!
  • Administrator - Yep, I'm the one to blame for this place.
  • Whiffing Demi-God!
    • Beyond the Sprues
Admiral Graf Spee does not get scuttled/or is recovered.
« on: April 24, 2016, 06:35:53 AM »

Folks,

It is well known that the Deutschland-class "Panzerschiff"/Heavy Cruiser Admiral Graf Spee was scuttled in shallow water off Montevideo in December 1939.  However what if history was a bt different?  Specifically, what if either:

  • The ship wasn't scuttled but rather interned in either Uruguay or perhaps Argentina?
  • The ship was scuttled but later (probably post war) found to be recoverable and thus returned to service?

This could give us a few whiff possibilities, such as:

  • Alternate users - perhaps the Navies of Uruguay or Argentina or even eventually West Germany operate the ship
  • Post war updates...through to the modern day even?

What do you think?  What options would you consider?
All hail the God of Frustration!!!

Offline Logan Hartke

  • High priest in the black arts of profiling...
  • Rivet-counting whiffer
Re: Admiral Graf Spee does not get scuttled/or is recovered.
« Reply #1 on: August 31, 2016, 11:22:32 PM »
So, I was just thinking about this last night. I got this book recently and was reading how close the ship had been to Buenos Aires and how the Argentinian government was more pro-German than the Uruguayan government.



It doesn't take much to think about the ship instead going to Buenos Aires and being purchased by Argentina just like what happened with the SMS Goeben and Turkey in WWI.

This seems like something ysi_maniac or dy031101 might take an interest in. They would likely remain in service until at least the 1980s to be a counter to the other South American "prestige" cruisers, some of which remain in service today.



Oh wow, that would be interesting... An updated Graf Spee threatening the Royal Navy in the Falklands 43 years after first causing the Royal Navy headaches... Yeah, this is a neat scenario.

Cheers,

Logan

Offline GTX_Admin

  • Evil Administrator bent on taking over the Universe!
  • Administrator - Yep, I'm the one to blame for this place.
  • Whiffing Demi-God!
    • Beyond the Sprues
Re: Admiral Graf Spee does not get scuttled/or is recovered.
« Reply #2 on: September 01, 2016, 03:01:41 AM »
An updated Graf Spee threatening the Royal Navy in the Falklands 43 years after first causing the Royal Navy headaches... Yeah, this is a neat scenario.


Oh yeah!!
All hail the God of Frustration!!!

Offline Volkodav

  • Counts rivits with his abacus...
  • Much older now...but procrastinating about it
Re: Admiral Graf Spee does not get scuttled/or is recovered.
« Reply #3 on: September 01, 2016, 12:45:29 PM »
And sunk by Conqueror instead of General Belgrano ;)

Online finsrin

  • The Dr Frankenstein of the modelling world...when not hiding from SBA
  • Finds part glues it on, finds part glues it on....
Re: Admiral Graf Spee does not get scuttled/or is recovered.
« Reply #4 on: September 01, 2016, 01:00:31 PM »
Build kit as if modernized in late 70s.
or
Not sunk, acquired by USN.  Mothballed.  Gets 80s modernization similar to Iowa class.
radar, 5"38 turrets, CIWS, Tomahawk.....
Be nice build to do.
« Last Edit: September 01, 2016, 01:19:50 PM by finsrin »

Offline Logan Hartke

  • High priest in the black arts of profiling...
  • Rivet-counting whiffer
Re: Admiral Graf Spee does not get scuttled/or is recovered.
« Reply #5 on: September 01, 2016, 01:14:47 PM »
And sunk by Conqueror instead of General Belgrano ;)

Oh, most certainly, but that doesn't take away from the interesting "what if" potential. To be honest, I think it would be less likely to be sunk than the General Belgrano, because I think it would have been lucky to put to see at all. After all, it would be a 50 year old ship built by a defunct state half a globe away and powered by a unique set of diesels that were desperately in need of an overhaul or replacement after three months of action in 1939.

Again, though, that's no fun, when you think of it that way, and even if all it did was sit in the harbor and belch some ominous-looking smoke out the exhausts every few days, it would still cause headaches from a "fleet in being" standpoint.

As with the others, I think it's neat to think about what you could do with the ship given the technology of the era.

Cheers,

Logan

Offline Volkodav

  • Counts rivits with his abacus...
  • Much older now...but procrastinating about it
Re: Admiral Graf Spee does not get scuttled/or is recovered.
« Reply #6 on: September 01, 2016, 03:26:25 PM »
Just imagine all the space and weight she would have for modernisation with all those single 6" and twin 105mm mounts, maybe an upgrade using systems selected for the MEKO360 and MEKO140s on order, i.e. Otomelara 5", Compato, Aspide, and Dardo plus an appropriate and compatible sensor upgrade.  You could even have a rapid refit conducted specifically for the Falklands operation, using systems already delivered for the Esporas and possibly for the Almirante Browns (the original plan was for two from Germany and four built locally before only four were ordered, all from Germany).

Offline Old Wombat

  • "We'll see when I've finished whether I'm showing off or simply embarrassing myself."
  • "Define 'interesting'?"
Re: Admiral Graf Spee does not get scuttled/or is recovered.
« Reply #7 on: September 01, 2016, 03:28:45 PM »
Could she ... sorry, he (the Germans used the masculine term) have been upgraded with modern diesels or gas turbines? ???
"This is the Captain. We have a little problem with our engine sequence, so we may experience some slight turbulence and, ah, explode."

Offline Weaver

  • Skyhawk stealer and violator of Panthers, with designs on a Cougar and a Tiger too
  • Chaos Engineer & Evangelistic Agnostic
Re: Admiral Graf Spee does not get scuttled/or is recovered.
« Reply #8 on: September 01, 2016, 09:39:50 PM »
Could she ... sorry, he (the Germans used the masculine term) have been upgraded with modern diesels or gas turbines? ???

My thoughts exactly. The fact that she was powered by relatively easy to swap-out diesels rather than threaded-through-the-structure steam plants would make it feasible for Argentina or Uruguay to replace them with some modern, maintainable units, and I'm sure MAN or DB would have fallen over themselves to do the design work.

A bigger problem might have been obtaining more ammunition for the main guns. The oddball 5.9" (150mm) secondary guns could have been replaced easily enough, but the 11" (280mm) guns were unique to Germany. If stocks of the ammo existed in Germany at the end of WWII, I presume they would have been confiscated by the allies: I wonder if Argentina could have done a deal for them, or maybe even for the production tooling if it still existed?

The General Belgrano was fitted with 2 x Sea Cat SAM systems and Dutch radar in 1968, so it's possible that an operational Graf Spee might have received the same systems.

Argentina already had two battleships and three cruisers with a miscellany of armament, so it wasn't like they wern't used to dealing with oddball supply chains. On the other hand, it is worth pointing out that all of those pre-war big ships, none of which had ever seen combat, let alone damage, were discarded by 1974. Only the two US cruisers lasted longer, and only one of them lasted until 1982. It therefore seems pretty unlikely that the Graf Spee would last long enough to see action in the Falklands , but it's by no means impossible, and the diesels issue might well be a factor in it's favour.

Argentinian heavy ships of reasonably modern design (a couple of WWI-era ships lasted just past the end of WWII, but only as training ships and the like) (all displacements = full load):

2 x Rivadavia-class battleships. Built in the USA, completed 1914/15, scrapped 1957. 30,000 tons, 12 x 12" guns.

2 x Veinticinco de Mayo-class cruisers. Built in Italy, completed 1931, scrapped 1960/61. 9000 tons, 6 x 7.5" guns.

1 x La Argentina-class training cruiser. Built in the UK, completed 1939, scrapped 1974.  7500 tons, 9 x 6" guns. (Note that this this ship, although perfectly capable of offensive ops, was intended and built to be a training cruiser by design.)

2 x General Belgrano-class cruisers. Built in the USA, completed 1938 (for USN), sold to Argentina 1951, one scrapped in 1977, the other sunk in 1982. 12,200 tons, 15 x 6" guns.
« Last Edit: September 01, 2016, 09:41:22 PM by Weaver »
"I have described nothing but what I saw myself, or learned from others" - Thucydides

"I've jazzed mine up a bit" - Spike Milligan

"I'm a general specialist," - Harry Purvis in Tales from the White Hart by Arthur C. Clarke

Twitter: @hws5mp
Minds.com: @HaroldWeaverSmith

Online finsrin

  • The Dr Frankenstein of the modelling world...when not hiding from SBA
  • Finds part glues it on, finds part glues it on....
Re: Admiral Graf Spee does not get scuttled/or is recovered.
« Reply #9 on: September 03, 2016, 01:32:54 AM »
Any of the battleships Japanese, German, Italian, UK, US are interesting subjects for styrene modernization and renationalization.

Offline GTX_Admin

  • Evil Administrator bent on taking over the Universe!
  • Administrator - Yep, I'm the one to blame for this place.
  • Whiffing Demi-God!
    • Beyond the Sprues
Re: Admiral Graf Spee does not get scuttled/or is recovered.
« Reply #10 on: September 03, 2016, 04:08:29 AM »
Given that in reality the ship's crew were taken to Argentina, where they were interned for the remainder of the war, it would be interesting to speculate that if the ship remained serviceable or at least recoverable whether or not any of the crew would have decided to stay in Sth America post war to stay with their ship.  Such expertise would have been invaluable.

Also, as I mentioned at the start of this thread, what if during the late '50s/early '60s the ship was perhaps sold/handed back to West Germany and then it was refitted/updated for use in supporting NATO.
All hail the God of Frustration!!!

Offline Weaver

  • Skyhawk stealer and violator of Panthers, with designs on a Cougar and a Tiger too
  • Chaos Engineer & Evangelistic Agnostic
Re: Admiral Graf Spee does not get scuttled/or is recovered.
« Reply #11 on: September 03, 2016, 08:27:46 PM »
Given that in reality the ship's crew were taken to Argentina, where they were interned for the remainder of the war, it would be interesting to speculate that if the ship remained serviceable or at least recoverable whether or not any of the crew would have decided to stay in Sth America post war to stay with their ship.  Such expertise would have been invaluable.

Also, as I mentioned at the start of this thread, what if during the late '50s/early '60s the ship was perhaps sold/handed back to West Germany and then it was refitted/updated for use in supporting NATO.

Well looking at the earliest post-war new German ships, the Koln and Hamburg classes, they had French 100mm Mod.53 guns and twin 40mm Bofors guns in Breda mounts, so you might imagine Graf Spee being re-armed with those in place of it's secondary and anti-aircraft batteries. Given that the 150mm guns were a shielded deck mount and the Mod.53 was a proper turret with a gun room below it, my thought is to extend the 01 deck over the former 150mm position and plate it in to give extra volume for the Mod.53s' gun rooms. You could move the ship's boats to the former aircraft deck to give a bit more 'elbow room' for the turrets too.

Other things they might do are:

Land the torpedo tubes and fit a helicopter deck over the quarterdeck, cantilevered outboard a little to give more area.

Remove the conning tower and build a new superstructure block out over it to give space for a modern bridge and ops room. Ironically, this would make the ship look more like Deutchland/Lutzow which preceded the Graf Spee.

Replace the main mast with something more substantial to hold a modern air-search radar and electronics.
"I have described nothing but what I saw myself, or learned from others" - Thucydides

"I've jazzed mine up a bit" - Spike Milligan

"I'm a general specialist," - Harry Purvis in Tales from the White Hart by Arthur C. Clarke

Twitter: @hws5mp
Minds.com: @HaroldWeaverSmith